If you have a gut feeling that there is something wrong with the way we run events, it could be the plastic talking. We are full of it.
Plastic, Plastic Everywhere…
According to a recent study in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, you could be wolfing down more than 74,000 microplastic particles every year. That’s 74,000 tiny pieces of plastic (under 5mm in diameter) embedded in your food, drink, and even in the air you breathe. Scientists still don’t know for certain what effect all that plastic is doing to our health, but we’ve all seen the damage it is doing to the environment and the way it is becoming entangled in the guts and around the necks of seabirds, fish, and other marine life.
So what can we do about it? Well, short of going back to 1907 and taking out Leo Hendrik Baekeland before he invented the stuff, we can’t do very much about the plastic that is already in our environment. But we can stop putting more in. One way is by becoming more responsible in the way we train and compete and how we choose our triathlons and other events.
That’s what Hardman is going to do. And here’s how:
The 2019 Royal Parks Half Marathon was one of the first major London races to abandon plastic bottles. They have swapped bottles for biodegradable cups at the water stations, and reusable bottles are encouraged. The race village has banned single-use plastics, with all plates, cutlery, and food servings made from compostable materials. As an added bonus, no products containing palm oil are allowed on the event site because palm oil is cultivated by destroying vast tracts of rainforest.
The event is set among 5,000 acres of parkland, and the organisers are sensitive to the responsibility they have to maintain the pristine setting. Killarney National Park is the setting for the Hardman Full Distance, a 25,000-acre haven for plants and wildlife that we are determined to protect. One way we can do that is by getting rid of single-use plastics.
Hardman 2020 – Ireland’s First Plastic-Free Tri
Our National Park is home to the last surviving indigenous herd of red deer in Ireland. And we really don’t want them chowing down on your discarded gel packets. It’s simple: If you can carry a full gel packet in your belt, you can carry an empty one even more easily.
You don’t need to drop any plastic bottles or cups either. Everyone who registers for Hardman 2020 will be supplied with a reusable bottle. You can carry it on your belt or use your own. Either way, we will have plenty of fresh water available for you to refill your bottle en route.
The After Party
We put our hands up: We’ve been as guilty as any other race organisers of greeting our famished and exhausted finishers with piles of plastic-wrapped sugary snacks and disposable cup after disposable cup of hot drinks and cola. From 2020, things are going to change. Don’t worry, though; you’ll still get plenty to eat. And it will be tastier than ever, but this time, we won’t be gathering up drifts of wrappers destined for landfill. Here’s what you can expect post-race:
- Freshly made sandwiches
- Handmade cakes and treats
- Tubs of jellies
- Tea & coffee in compostable cups
And when you’ve revived after your epic achievement and are ready to go shower, gloat, and celebrate, we will segregate all the remaining waste, so that as much as possible goes to fill our compost heaps and recycling, and the barest minimum goes to landfill.
So, what do you think? Will you be with us in 2020 to share in Ireland’s first lo-plastic full triathlon?
Sign up today and be part of a plastic-free future.